Tom's orange & poppyseed cake

Tom's orange & poppyseed cake

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(11 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 15 mins Cook: 40 mins - 45 mins Plus cooling and filling

More effort

Cuts into 8 slices

Why not turn this cake into a dessert?

Nutrition and extra info

  • cake only

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal685
  • fat28g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs102g
  • sugars82g
  • fibre3g
  • protein13g
  • salt0.49g
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    For the poached orange slices

    • 2 medium oranges



      One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

    • 350g caster sugar

    For the cake

    • 150g self-raising flour
    • ¾ tsp baking powder
      Baking powder

      Baking powder

      bay-king pow-dah

      Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

    • 150g ground almond


      arr-mund or al-mund

      Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…

    • 2½ tbsp poppy seeds
    • 3 medium eggs



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 175g caster sugar

    For the orange curd

    • 4 medium eggs



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • juice and grated zest of 1 large orange and 1 lemon



      One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

    • 100g caster sugar
    • 100g unsalted butter



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…


    1. Preheat the oven to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4. Thinly slice the unpeeled oranges then put them in a saucepan with 400ml/14fl oz water and the sugar. Stir everything around and poach the oranges, covered, over a medium heat for 20 minutes until the pith feels soft when tested with a sharp knife. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

    2. Grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin and arrange the nicest poached orange slices (about seven) in the bottom. Strain the remaining orange slices, keeping the poaching liquid. Purée 100g/4oz of the oranges together with 75ml/21⁄2 fl oz of the liquid, to make a smooth mixture (a hand blender is great for this).

    3. To make the cake, mix the flour, baking powder, almonds and poppy seeds together and put aside. Whisk the eggs with the caster sugar until the mixture looks like softly whipped cream. This will take 5-7 minutes. Immediately fold in the orange purée very gently using a spatula, so you don’t knock out all the air.

    4. Fold the dry ingredients into the foamy orange mix, stopping as soon as it’s combined. Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and springy to the touch. Test with a skewer – if it comes out clean from the centre, the cake is cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. When cool, turn the cake out so the orange slices are uppermost.

    5. While the cake is cooling, make the curd. Beat the eggs with the orange and lemon juices, then strain into a bowl. Add the sugar, butter and orange and lemon zest, then place the bowl over a pan one-third full of boiling water. Stir over the heat until the mixture thickens – it’s ready when it thickly coats the back of your spoon (this could take up to 30 minutes, so be patient). Leave to cool.

    6. Cut the cake across twice, into three sections. Brush middle and bottom layers with some of the leftover syrup. Divide the curd between the layers and spread it out, then sandwich all three sections together. Brush the top with more syrup. Let the cake sit for a few hours to allow flavours to develop. It keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    JoJoDel's picture
    29th Apr, 2020
    I really enjoyed the challenge of this cake as it introduced me to some new techniques. I had never made curd before and found it a very long process. I also had lots of syrup left over and would like a suggestion what I could use that for as it felt a shame to through it away. This is time consuming but very delicious. I would say in my top 5 cakes I've ever made. I will be making it again.
    Monica Hitt
    20th Feb, 2020
    The is by far one of the best cakes ever made,It tasted awesome, big thumbs up from all. There are a few processes but well worth it. Will be making again very soon.
    1st Sep, 2014
    Lovely cake!! I made this at the weekend for guests, everyone loved it! Looked just like the picture and the taste was awesome.
    16th Jul, 2010
    Great cake. A little time consuming, but looks fantastic. I won't bother with the oranges on the bottom next time as I used the left over poached oranges to decorate the top. The fact that they were broken up made it look great. I'm definitely trying the grand marnier and choc ganache next time. That sounds devine. Yum and not too sweet, and only require a small slice so goes around.
    15th May, 2008
    This is by far the best dessert cake I have ever made. Try also making the cake without putting the oranges in the bottom. Make a gran marnier and chocolate sauce/glaze. Once the cake has cooled, put the curd in the middle as usual then pour the glaze over the top letting it run down the sides in the odd place. Mount the preserved oranges into the glaze before it sets. You may need a cocktail stitck to hold them in place until the glaze does set. Wonderful! Also, Gran Marnier makes an excellent addition to the cake when you are pouring in the juice from preserving the oranges.
    2nd Feb, 2008
    I've made this cake several times already, everybody loves it. The oranges give it a fresh taste and it's not to sweet. A real winner!
    Megha Gupta's picture
    Megha Gupta
    16th Mar, 2018
    Can I add buttermilk to this recipe to make sure it comes out moist ? If yes what’s the amount to be added ? Thanks
    goodfoodteam's picture
    19th Mar, 2018
    Thanks for your question. Don't worry this cake will be perfectly moist (as long as you don't overcook it). Also brushing with the syrup and adding the layers of curd ensure it really won't be dry. Enjoy!
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